News Archive 2013-2016

Novel models for anti-Toxoplasma gondii drug discovery

Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently.

Research at Leeds has developed novel models to facilitate drug development and used these models to envision, and then create, novel 4-(1H)-quinolone scaffolds that target the cytochrome bc1 complex Qi site, of which, a substituted 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-4-one inhibits active infection (IC50, 30 nM) and cysts (IC50, 4 μM) in vitro, and in vivo (25 mg/kg), and drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (IC50, <30 nM), with clinically relevant synergy. Read more.

24th August 2016

Innovation at Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK has launched ‘Pioneering Research 2015/16’, their annual research publication, which also outlined the ways they are embedding innovation across the charity.

Every year the charity spends hundreds of millions of pounds supporting high-calibre cancer research, relying on the creativity and innovation of our research community.

But, as a funder, they need to find novel ways to spark creative ideas and encourage fresh thinking for how to tackle cancer challenges. That’s why they have developed exciting new ways of supporting novel research ideas across our funding portfolio. Read more.

16th August 2016

Northern Life Sciences Accelerator programme – submission deadline approaches

Deadline approaches for £500,000 life sciences accelerator:

The deadline is fast-approaching for Life Science startups across the North of England to take advantage of a £500,000 accelerator fund that could transform their ideas into businesses. Start-ups only have until 31 January 2017 to apply to the North of England Life Science Accelerator (NELSA).

Set-up by a group including N8 along with science park operator Manchester Science Partnerships, bioscience incubation centre BioCity, investment firms Catapult Ventures and Alderley Park Ventures (APV), and NHSA, the accelerator will be anchored at Alderley Park’s BioHub.

NELSA will aim to support young life science businesses across the north by providing seed funding for up to 10 early-stage commercialisation projects for a maximum of 12 months. The funding will enable businesses to carry out proof-of-concept research and eligible firms will also be offered business support such as workshops, coaching and access to mentors.

Further, companies will be given access to the facilities and equipment at the internationally-renowned Alderley Park site. Read more, including the thoughts of Leeds professor Helen Philippou who completed the programme in 2016.

12th Jan 2017

Exploring Cancer Medicines – free online course

A free online course introducing the subject of medicinal chemistry and its importance in treating disease has been launched from Leeds University’s School of Chemistry.

This course will introduce you to the principles of cancer chemotherapy, and how the development of effective medications for the treatment of cancer remains a significant challenge to scientists.

It will allow you to research the use and development of cancer medicines, focussing on chemotherapy. In addition, through an exploration of how science is communicated to the general public, you will also look at the skills you need to become an effective science writer.

No previous knowledge is required, but having an interest in exploring science and science writing will be beneficial to learners. Read more.

12th August 2016

How drug-resistant bacteria build defences

Improved understanding of the way hundreds of different types of disease-causing bacteria operate could help pave the way to tackling their effects, according to leading scientists.

Leeds research: Designed α/β/γ-Foldamers as Selective Inhibitors of Protein–Protein Interactions

A major current challenge in bioorganic chemistry is the identification of effective mimics of protein secondary structures that act as inhibitors of protein–protein interactions (PPIs). In this work, trans-2-aminocyclobutanecarboxylic acid (tACBC) was used as the key β-amino acid component in the design of α/β/γ-peptides to structurally mimic a native α-helix. Suitably functionalized α/β/γ-peptides assume an α-helix-mimicking 12,13-helix conformation in solution, exhibit enhanced proteolytic stability in comparison to the wild-type α-peptide parent sequence from which they are derived, and act as selective inhibitors of the p53/hDM2 interaction. Read more.

28th July 2016

Timeline of important events in Structural Molecular Biology and in the Astbury Centre

Two new interactive timelines of important events in Structural Molecular Biology and in the Astbury Centre have been launched. 

See the timelines here.

29th June 2016

Leeds awarded £3.8m to tackle antibiotic resistance

Leeds has been awarded £3.8m to accelerate the development of infection diagnostics tools that are urgently required to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

The discovery of antibiotics early in the 20th century revolutionised our healthcare system and antibiotics and other antimicrobials have become an integral part of modern healthcare. However, in recent decades, the use of antibiotics has increased massively. This has led to an enormous rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is a significant and growing challenge.

The project at the University of Leeds brings together researchers from the faculties of Engineering, Biological Sciences and Medicine and Health. This highly interdisciplinary team will develop a new tool that can be used by doctors to detect the presence of a bacterial or viral infection quickly before antibiotics are prescribed. The test will be able to identify which bacterial strain has caused the infection, as different strains require different treatments, and whether the particular type is commonly resistant to antibiotics. Read more.

24th May 2016

New PhDs to train the next generation of bio-scientists

MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and a consortium of Leeds, Cambridge, Manchester and Sheffield universities has secured a Collaborative Training Partnership, structured as 12 PhD studentships.

The studentships are designed to invest in the training of the next generation of scientists for the wider bioeconomy and research base, providing access to facilities and expertise unavailable in an academic setting alone. 

Working collaboratively, MedImmune and the universities will co-locate the four-year-long studentships to advance discovery and development in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. Read more.

4th January 2017

£11M cell and gene therapies industrial manufacture funding competition

Innovate UK is to invest up to £11 million in collaborative research and development projects to stimulate large-scale manufacturing in the cell and gene therapy sector.

They are seeking proposals to industrialise established manufacturing processes for cell and gene therapies. The aim of this competition is to develop the manufacturing capability of candidate cell and gene therapies so they are ready for pivotal clinical trials and early market supply.

About the funding

They expect projects to range in size from total costs of £1 million to £2.5 million. They may consider projects outside this range if you contact them before 2 November to discuss. Projects should last between 1 and 3 years.

Projects must be collaborative and must include at least one UK-registered small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). A business must lead the project.

Competition Briefing event

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is orgainsing a briefing event for this competition, which can be attended in person in London, or by webcast, on 5th October 2016. Read more.

28th September 2016

Targeting the biological host to get rid of unwanted guests

A new approach has been developed to combat diseases caused by herpesvirus infections, including everything from cold sores to cancer.

How drug-resistant bacteria build defences

Improved understanding of the way hundreds of different types of disease-causing bacteria operate could help pave the way to tackling their effects, according to leading scientists.

13th BioprocessUK conference 23-24 Nov

The 13th BioprocessUK conference will be held in Newcastle 23rd-24th November 2016.  There are great reasons to attend:

*Expected attendance of 300+ delegates from the biological medicines sector in the UK and abroad

*Learn about the chnaging face of bioprocessing to deliver future medicines

*Meet the talent of tomorrow through the student bursary programme

*Network and take the opportunity to meet key contacts, build relationships and initiate collaborations

*Opportunity to promote your business and see new technologies within the exhibtion area

The conference also runs a popular Bursary Poster Competition where ~ 25 postgraduate students and post doctoral researchers have an opportunity to display a poster showcasing their research in biological medicines and bioprocessing. The competition also provides students with a chance to build their network by engaging with industry professionals.

Read more about the programme, bursary and how to register.

3rd August 2016

Royal Society funding calls open

Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award

This scheme is for outstanding scientists who would benefit from a five year salary enhancement to help recruit them to or retain them in the UK. Read more.

International Exchanges

This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. Read more.

5th October 2016

State of the art microscopy sheds light on virus damaging to transplanted kidneys

A paper written by Kidney Research UK funded Dr Andrew Macdonald, Associate Professor in Virology, and colleagues on their discoveries concerning the BK polyomavirus and how it can can cause kidney transplants to fail has been published in the prestigious academic journal Structure.

BK polyomavirus infects approximately 90% of all adults without any noticeable effects.  However, infection with BK is associated with significant damage to kidney transplants in up to 10% of renal transplant patients. There are currently no treatments targeting BK virus directly. Therefore, there is a pressing need to better understand the basic biology of this virus in order to find new targets for therapy. Read more.

11th May 2016

Leeds Chemistry Professor is the recipient of the 2016 Norman Heatley Award

Congratulations to Prof Andy Wilson on being the recipient of the 2016 Norman Heatley Award for the development of methods to interrogate and manipulate protein-protein interactions using biomimetic approaches.

The Norman Heatley Award is to recognise and promote the importance of inter- and multi-disciplinary research between chemistry and the life sciences through independent work. It is awarded to an early career scientist under the age of 40. 

Drugs function by binding to a protein target within the body. Most existing small molecule drugs bind to well-defined pockets in proteins – analogous to a key fitting into a lock. In stark contrast, the design of drugs to inhibit protein-protein interactions generally requires a fundamentally different type of interaction of the drug with its protein target – analogous to a hand gripping a ball. Thus, developing approaches for inhibition of protein-protein interactions is an enormous fundamental challenge of huge importance to chemical biology and drug discovery, and, in future future healthcare provision.. The award recognises the importance of this topic within the wider scientific community. See details of RSC website.

11th May 2015

Discovering the ‘turnstile’ in our cells

A research team at Leeds has discovered that a cell’s protective layer acts like a turnstile, allowing proteins to be exported while preventing them from moving back in.

Michael J Fox Foundation call for funding

The Michael J. Fox Foundation works tirelessly to accelerate promising research toward breakthroughs for Parkinson’s patients. While the strong emphasis is on funding translational and clinical research, the foundation also supports high-risk/high-reward discovery work.

Three funding programmes have a new call with a deadline of 19th October:

*Target advancement: Novel targets, priority targets, lead pathways targets.

*Therapeutic development: disease modifying, symptomatic, clinical, pre-clinical.

*Outcomes measures: imaging agents, biomarker assays, clinical outcomes.

Read more.

12th August 2016

Unravelling the secret of antibiotic resistance

Scientists from the University of Leeds have solved a 25-year-old question about how a family of proteins allow bacteria to resist the effects of certain antibiotics. Proteins of the ABC-F protein family are a major source of antibiotic resistance in ‘superbugs’ such as Staphylococcus aureus, a group of bacteria that includes MRSA.

The findings, published today in the American Society for Microbiology journal mBio, provide the first direct evidence of how this family of proteins ‘protect’ the bacterial ribosome, the protein makers in cells, from being blocked by antibiotics. Read more.

23rd March 2016

Using old drugs to treat new viruses

According to new research led by the University of Leeds, researchers found that common drugs in everyday use were successful in preventing a particular virus from infecting cells, by blocking the ion channels that regulate potassium levels in those cells. Ion channels normally control the balance of chemicals such as potassium, calcium and sodium within our cells.

The virus the research focused on was the Bunyavirus family, which includes lethal human pathogens such as Hantaviruses and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, a widespread disease that is becoming more prevalent in Mediterranean countries and endemic in Africa, the Middle East and some Asian countries, where outbreaks can kill up to four out of 10 people who contract it. Read more.

17th March 2016

Scientists getting warmer on mimicking anti-freeze in nature

Researchers from the University of Leeds have taken an important step forward in mimicking nature’s prowess at protecting cells from deep-freeze conditions.

Research @ Leeds: Hydrocarbon constrained peptides – understanding preorganisation and binding affinity

The development of constrained peptides represents an emerging strategy to generate peptide based probes and hits for drug-discovery that address challenging protein–protein interactions (PPIs).

Research at Leeds has been published on the use of a novel α-alkenylglycine derived amino acid to synthesise hydrocarbon constrained BH3-family sequences (BIM and BID). Our biophysical and structural analyses illustrate that whilst the introduction of the constraint increases the population of the bioactive α-helical conformation of the peptide in solution, it does not enhance the inhibitory potency against pro-apoptotic Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 PPIs which has implications for the design of preorganised peptides to target protein–protein interactions. Read more.

2nd March 2016

BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy – funding available

The 13 BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBBs) have Business Interaction vouchers (worth up to £5k) and Proof of Concept funding available.

Each network has 40 Business Interaction vouchers to award and most have a PoC scheme.

The full list of networks, and detailed of their funding schemes, is available here. The networks are free to join, to apply for the funding you will need to be a member of the relevant network.

2nd March 2016

Finding the best treatment for bowel cancer patients

A new test could help patients with advanced bowel cancer get the best treatment for their disease.

A Cancer Research UK clinical trial, run from the University of Leeds and St James’s University Hospital, studied almost 1,200 patients at hospitals all over the UK with advanced bowel cancer.

These were patients whose first chemotherapy treatment had stopped working and who were starting a second chemotherapy treatment, called irinotecan. Read more.

12th February 2016

N8 innovation community for New Target Discovery

The N8 Targets for New Medicines project will harness expertise in disease biology, patient outcomes and therapeutic knowledge across the N8 group of major research intensive universities.

Cutting edge preclinical N8 facilities will be exploited, as a Target Toolbox, by coordinated project teams that bring to bear multiple investigative approaches, including:

  • patient and pathway data analytics
  • computational modelling and simulation
  • omics data acquisition and processing
  • structural biology
  • in vitro and in vivo disease state Proof-of-Principle and Proof-of-Concept models, and
  • healthcare economics

Collectively, these approaches will form the basis of a target identification, validation and de-risking toolbox, to deliver new targets whose validity is evidenced by outstandingly insightful data. Read more.

4th February 2016

STFC Global Challenge Concepts funding call

The STFC Global Challenge Programme funds projects that demonstrate the application of innovative science, technology, applications and expertise developed from STFC’s core science programme to priority areas of the Global Challenges: Energy, Environment, Healthcare and Security. The objectives of the fund are:

*To support small scale demonstrator/proof of concept projects to show that STFC expertise and technology can be applied to global challenge problems.

*To provide a faster route to funding that will enable researchers to demonstrate capability applied to new areas, de-risk novel concepts and thereby maximise the potential to realise opportunities for next stage funding.

*To complement and underpin other STFC funding schemes such as Innovation Partnerships (IPS) that are aimed at the transfer of technology and expertise from STFC research into the commercial marketplace, as well as those such as the Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) that provide support for larger demonstrator projects and industry-ready prototypes addressing the global challenges.

Call for Proposals Exploration and Concept Activities: Call opens 30th June 2016 and closes 2nd August 2016. Read more.

4th July 2016

Next generation anti-thrombotics

A research team involving Dr Helen Philippou, Dr Richard Foster and Professor Colin Fishwick have received a £3M award from the Wellcome Trust to discover new inhibitors of blood-clotting enzymes as antithrombotic therapeutics.

This major award, a Strategic Drug Discovery Initiative (SDDI), is the first of its kind to be awarded at the University of Leeds.

Development of blood clots (thrombosis) is the most common cause of mortality, and is responsible for at least 1 in every 3 deaths in the Western World. Previous work within the School of Chemistry, had identified a series of ‘hit’ molecules which display promising anti-thrombotic activity and which now form the starting point of this substantial award.

Richard Foster explains: “Current treatments for thrombosis all suffer from harmful side-effects, particularly unwanted bleeding. Together with our biological colleagues here at Leeds and with our outsourcing partner, this major grant puts us into an excellent position to develop truly effective and safe alternative treatments.”

27th January 2016

Leeds Microbubbles Annual Symposium

6th Annual Microbubble Symposium, 18-19th July 2016, Weetwood Hall, Leeds

Confirmed Speakers

Professor John Callan, Norbrook Chair in Pharmaceutical Science, Ulster University

Professor David Jayne, University of Leeds

Dr Alexander Klibanov, University of Virginia

Dr Ine Lentacker, Ghent University

Prof Margaret Wheatley, Drexel University

Prof Marie Pierre Krafft, Institut Charles Sadron

Professor Goetz Ehrhardt/Kullervo Hynynen, University of Toronto

Dr Steven Lind, Manchester

Dr Jeff Bamber, ICR

Read more and register.

17th June 2016

CBMNet Event: Overcoming Cellular Barriers: Implications for Industrial Biotechnology

Three BBSRC NIBB – BioCatNet, BioProNet, and CBMNet – are hosting a two day event (6th-7th July 2016) to address the challenges of protein secretion and targeting in Industrial Biotechnology.  Three themes form the backdrop of the meeting: Protein Trafficking in Eukaryotic Cells, Protein Export from Bacterial Cell Factories and Delivery of Therapeutic Proteins to Targets. 

The meeting will identify how UK academic and industrial strengths can be exploited to enhance application to future challenges.  The event will combine presentations from leading academic and industrial practitioners to inform and stimulate facilitated discussions. The overall aim is to identify collaborative research projects and teams to bid for RCUK, Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 funding.

Registration is free and includes accommodation on the 6th July. Read more.

5th April 2016

Groundbreaking microscopy unlocks secrets of plant virus assembly

New research into how a plant virus assembles could lay the groundwork for future use to carry drugs into the human body.

The study, by a team from the University of Leeds’ Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and the John Innes Centre in Norwich, describes the structure of an empty version of Cowpea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) and the molecular “glue” that allows the virus to build itself and encapsulate its genome.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications and based on revolutionary new electron microscopy, may be a crucial step to eventually allowing scientists to build custom versions of the virus that can carry medicines into the body and target disease. Read more.

6th January 2016

University shortlisted in national ‘Excellence with Impact’ competition

The University is one of 10 institutions shortlisted for the Excellence with Impact (EwI) competition run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Now in its fourth year, EwI aims to recognise institutions that can develop and successfully deliver a vision for maximising impact, alongside a relevant institution-wide culture change.

The Leeds entry for the EwI was based on the vision of ‘a Climate for Change’, which centred on enhancing impact delivery and altering the culture of the research community. Read more.

2nd March 2016

Leeds University: investing in knowledge, creating opportunity

A specially commissioned report captures the scale of the University’s economic, social and cultural impact.

The independent report offers the first comprehensive review of the University’s impact and provides the bedrock of evidence for the University’s ambitions for the future.

It examines the remarkable contribution Leeds is making to the city region, the UK and on a global scale, revealing that the University is making a £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy. Read more.

Some facts about the University are highlighted in this video.

25th November 2015

‘Quantum dots’ light the way for new HIV and Ebola treatment

A research team led by the University of Leeds has observed for the first time how HIV and Ebola viruses attach to cells to spread infection.

Viroporins: Novel Targets for Antivirals?

Studies at Leeds have highlighted the essential nature of a group of small, highly hydrophobic, membrane embedded, channel-forming proteins in the life cycles of a growing number of RNA viruses. These viroporins mediate the flow of ions and a range of solutes across cellular membranes and are necessary for manipulating a myriad of host processes.

As such they contribute to all stages of the virus life cycle. Recent discoveries have identified proteins encoded by the small DNA tumor viruses that display a number of viroporin like properties. This review article summarizes the recent developments in our understanding of these novel viroporins; describes their roles in the virus life cycles and in pathogenesis and speculates on their potential as targets for anti-viral therapeutic intervention. Read more.

5th November 2015

VEGFR2 trafficking, signaling and proteolysis is regulated by the ubiquitin isopeptidase USP8

Research at Leeds has shown that vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) regulates many aspects of vascular function. VEGF-A binding to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) stimulates endothelial signal transduction and regulates multiple cellular responses. Activated VEGFR2 undergoes ubiquitination but the enzymes that regulate this post-translational modification are unclear.

In this study, the de-ubiquitinating enzyme, USP8, is shown to regulate VEGFR2 trafficking, de-ubiquitination, proteolysis and signal transduction. USP8-depleted endothelial cells displayed altered VEGFR2 ubiquitination and production of a unique VEGFR2 extracellular domain proteolytic fragment caused by VEGFR2 accumulation in the endosome-lysosome system. In addition, perturbed VEGFR2 trafficking impaired VEGF-A-stimulated signal transduction in USP8-depleted cells. Thus, regulation of VEGFR2 ubiquitination and de-ubiquitination has important consequences for the endothelial cell response and vascular physiology. Read more.

5th November 2015

Supercoiled DNA is far more dynamic than the “Watson-Crick” double helix

Researchers have imaged in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional structure of supercoiled DNA, revealing that its shape is much more dynamic than the well-known double helix.

Various DNA shapes, including figure-8s, were imaged using a powerful microscopy technique by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US, and then examined using supercomputer simulations run at the University of Leeds.

As reported online today in the journal Nature Communications, the simulations also show the dynamic nature of DNA, which constantly wiggles and morphs into different shapes – a far cry from the commonly held idea of a rigid and static double helix structure.

Improving our understanding of what DNA looks like when it is in the cell will help us to design better medicines, such as new antibiotics or more effective cancer chemotherapies. Read more.

21st October 2015

Leeds Be Curious Festival

Do you want to come along and have a fun day out at the University? Ever been curious as to what studies and research are taking place in Leeds?

The Be Curious Festival is an exciting, free, interactive event, suitable for everyone with an interest in health, wellbeing and the human body. Held at the University of Leeds, Parkinson Court building on Saturday 19th March 2016, 10am-4pm, come and see, play with and learn about our work! Read more.

4th February 2016

Innovate UK technology inspired innovation call opens

The Innovate UK call on technology-inspired innovation in biosciences is open. This supports technical feasibility studies that stimulate innovation in the biosciences, with a focus on technologies that enable multiple applications or the development of variety of products across the following areas:synthetic biology; computational systems biology; characterisation and discovery; bio-based and sustainable solutions; naturally inspired.

Closing date: 9th March 16, awards are up to £33k. Read more.

2nd December 2015

Researchers to use supercomputer to ‘hack’ Ebola

Scientists at the University of Leeds will run the equivalent of password cracking software to find the chemical keys to defeating the Ebola virus

Cancer Research UK launches ‘The Pioneer Award’

The Pioneer Award will fund research into truly innovative, ground-breaking ideas with the potential to lead to new discoveries or approaches that will help us better understand, prevent, diagnose or treat cancer. Awards will enable research into ideas with the potential for high reward to beat cancer sooner.

Applications are welcomed from all investigators, no matter your background, occupation, or academic publication record. Awards are up to £200k and 2 years’ duration.

​Applications can be made all year round, and will be judged anonymously by the Committee. All that’s required is an idea that could lead to the next major breakthrough in cancer research. Read more.

15th July 2015

Controlling the ‘social life’ of proteins aims to transform drug discovery

A new £3.4 million programme will develop new tools to understand which interactions between proteins in the human body are relevant to disease.

Accelerating Cancer Drug Discovery through Structural Biology 2016 Conference

Accelerating Cancer Drug Discovery through Structural Biology.  Wednesday 27th January 2016, CRUK Leicester Centre.

Speakers include Prof Alex Breeze, Leeds and Prof Laurence Pearl, Sussex.

The conference aims to give the cancer drug discovery and structural biology research communities an opportunity to come together, learn about the CRUK Leicester Centre’s networked approach, stimulate discussion, build collaborations and ultimately to help accelerate progress in cancer drug discovery for the benefit of patients everywhere. Read more.

12th January 2016

Activity-Directed Synthesis with Intermolecular Reactions

Research at Leeds has developed Activity-directed synthesis (ADS), a novel discovery approach in which bioactive molecules emerge in parallel with associated syntheses. It was exploited to develop a weakly binding fragment into novel androgen receptor agonists.

It was shown that ADS is a significant addition to the lead generation toolkit, enabling the efficient and rapid discovery of novel, yet synthetically accessible, bioactive chemotypes. Read more.

23rd September 2015

Antibiotic resistance helps find drugs for intractable diseases

Scientists have developed an innovative way of using one of the biggest problems facing health services—antibiotic resistance—to develop drugs to combat some of the most intractable diseases.

Non-invasive device could end daily finger pricking for people with diabetes

A new laser sensor that monitors blood glucose levels without penetrating the skin could transform the lives of millions of people living with diabetes.

Currently, many people with diabetes need to measure their blood glucose levels by pricking their fingers, squeezing drops of blood onto test strips, and processing the results with portable glucometers. The process can be uncomfortable, messy and often has to be repeated several times every day.

The new technology, developed by Professor Gin Jose and a team in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds, uses a small device with low-powered lasers to measure blood glucose levels without penetrating the skin. It could give people a simpler, pain-free alternative to finger pricking. Read more.

15th July 2015

Lead-oriented synthesis

Chemistry research at Leeds, funded by EPSRC and in collaboration with GSK, has developed a novel synthetic approach which generated compounds as starting materials for drug discovery which have the properties required by the pharmaceutical industry and could lead to new breakthroughs in drug discovery. Watch the video!

BBSRC FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP)

The BBSRC FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge /technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities.

FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals (“the interchangers”) moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent).

It is envisaged that approximately 20 awards will be supported per annum. Awards will typically: last up to 24 months; cost up to £150k in total at 80% fEC; be undertaken on a full-time, part-time or intermittent basis; cover a contribution to the salary of the interchangers, reasonable travel and subsistence and costs associated with the interchange. Read more.

Application deadline: 3 February 2016, 4pm.

21st October 2015

Physics of Life From Molecules to Systems 2016 Winter School

The Winter School will encompass experiment and theory, and address a broad spectrum of important topics including microscopy, organisation, ecology, spectroscopy, single molecules, cells, collective behaviour, forces and membranes. We hope it will provide an opportunity for UK researchers to immerse themselves in state-of-the-art expertise in an intensive environment, giving them a broad and deep cross-disciplinary framework from within which to approach the Physics of Life. The School is aimed at UK-based early stage researchers – particularly PhD students and postdoctoral workers. Read more and book.

St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, 5-8 January 2016

18th November 2016

Leeds University: Investing in knowledge, creating opportunity

A specially commissioned report captures the scale of the University’s economic, social and cultural impact. It examines the remarkable contribution Leeds is making to the city region, the UK and on a global scale, revealing that the University is making a £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy.

BBSRC Follow in Funding call opens

The BBSRC Follow-on funding programme is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by us into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research.

This programme is a proof-of-concept model where further work on an idea will take it through to the stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out or licensing opportunity. The programme enables activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress.

Projects up to 12-18 months in duration and valued at under £250k (100% FEC) are expected. Read more.

2nd October 2015

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

The venom of a wasp native to Brazil could be used in the fight against cancer, according to new University of Leeds research. The research reveals exactly how the venom’s toxin – called MP1 (Polybia-MP1) – selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells.

Wellcome Trust Pathfinder Awards call

The Wellcome Trust Pathfinder Award offers pilot funding to catalyse innovative early-stage applied research and development projects in areas of unmet medical need. It has been expanded and now funds discrete projects from applicants in the UK and Republic of Ireland as well as partnerships between academia and industry based anywhere in the world.

Funded projects may last up to 18 months from the agreed start date and the average award amount is envisaged to be in the region of £100,000, but up to £350,000 will be considered in exceptional circumstances. Deadline: 23rd November 2015. Read more.

2nd October 2015

Bionow 2015 BioInfect Conference

A major 1-day conference looking at the critical issues relating to the development of new anti-infectives and the endemic problem of resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. It is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.

10th November, Alderley Park Conference, Mereside, Alderley, SK10 4TG. Read more.

8th October 2015 

Funding for analytical technologies for biopharmaceutical processes

Innovate UK is investing up to £4M in collaborative R&D projects to address the UK biopharmaceutical industry’s need for improved analytical technologies to support the development of current and next generation biopharmaceutical products.

This competition seeks to advance the development and commercialisation of Biopharmaceutical products and processes by improving the analytical technologies used to develop formulations, monitor processes, characterise products and develop the associated informatics required to implement QbD and PAT approaches.  Projects must be business led and involve collaborations with other businesses or research organisations.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 14th September 2015. The deadline for registration is noon on 14th October 2015. The deadline, for expressions of interest, is noon on 21st October 2015. Read more.

3rd September 2015

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Project & Research grants

BSAC has opened their project and research grants:

PROJECT GRANTS: Maximum value of £15,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. Project grants may be used for the following purposes:

Pump priming projects; Supporting the completion of an existing project; Introducing a novel technique for existing work; Funding for trainees for projects/training (maximum value £5,000)

RESEARCH GRANTS: Maximum value of £50,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. The Society supports research grants in the following areas:

Mechanisms of antibacterial action; Mechanisms of antibacterial resistance; Antiviral resistance; Antiviral; Antifungals; Antibiotic methods; Antibiotic prescribing; Antibiotic therapy; Antiparasitics; Evidence based medicine / systematic reviews.

Closing date: 1st November 2015. Read more.

15th July 2015

Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology annual report available

The Leeds Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology 2014 annual report is now available.  The report can be downloaded here.

18th June 2015

Wellcome Trust Translation Awards: call for concept notes

The Wellcome Trust Translation Awards aimto develop innovative and ground breaking new technologies in the biomedical area.

Projects must have already demonstrated proof of principle, supported by experimental data. Applications should bridge the funding gap in commercialisation of new technologies in the biomedical area and must plan to take the product, technology or intervention to a stage at which it is sufficiently developed to be attractive to another party.

Translation Awards are designed to be flexible, enabling freedom to innovate and push the boundaries of current knowledge. Our aim is to support individuals or teams through larger and bolder awards to accelerate product development.

There is an open call for concept notes. Prospective applicants should contact Innovations to discuss their proposal.  If you receive an invite to submit a preliminary application, the deadline is 16 October 2015. Read more.

1st July 2015

£6.5M for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World is a £6.5M programme funded under the AMR Cross-Council Initiative.

This programme aims to address the need for a greater understanding of the role of the outdoor environment and host microbiome in influencing the evolution, acquisition and spread of antibacterial resistance, and acting as a reservoir for resistance. The programme is restricted to antibacterials and resistant bacteria or bacterial resistance genes, of clinical and/or veterinary importance. Read more.

Research Grants: Up to £1.5M and up to four years’ duration. Outline application deadline: 6 October 2015, 4pm
Pump Priming Grants: Around £200k for 12-36 months. Application deadline: 3 December 2015, 4pm

26th August 2015

Rare African bush may help kidney cancer treatment

New University of Leeds research has shown why a bush that is only found in some African countries could hold a key to killing renal (kidney) cancer cells. Previous studies have shown that the plant contains a chemical, Englerin A, which kills renal cancer cells – but they have not shown why.

A research team led by Professor David Beech, of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, has discovered that Englerin A in very small amounts activates a particular protein, TRPC4, and its close relative TRPC5. This triggers changes in the renal cancer cell which kills it. Read more.

1st April 2015.

Leeds project funded through Yorkshire Cancer Resarch ‘£5M projects’

Yorkshire Cancer Research will invest £5m in nine innovative projects aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of Yorkshire’s cancer patients, it has been revealed today. The selected projects aim to address a North-South divide in cancer outcomes where today people in Yorkshire are more likely to get cancer, and more likely to die from it, than most other counties in England.
 
Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We’re extremely proud to be funding such vital research in Yorkshire thanks to the generosity of our supporters. This is a very substantial investment in projects with a huge regional significance which will take us one step closer to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on people who live in Yorkshire.” To read about the Leeds projects click here.

1st April 2015

University funds £17m structural biology lab

The University of Leeds is investing £17 million in a state-of-the-art laboratory to provide the University’s internationally renowned Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology with instruments for Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance that are competitive with the very best in the world.

Cancer Research UK Multidisciplinary Project Award

The CRUK  Multidisciplinary Project Award supports collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines.

Applications should ideally include:

a minimum of two PIs working in distinct scientific disciplines
at least one PI working in cancer research at any career stage
at least one PI from an engineering/physical science discipline at any career stage

Projects can be up to £500k and four years. Preliminary submission is 1 September 2015 and final submission 17 November 2015. Read more.

5th August 2015

2015 Leeds Ion Channels workshop – registration opens

Registration is now open for the 2015 Leeds Ion Channels workshop which will be held 6-11th September. 

The Workshop provides a brief introduction to the biology of ion channels followed by coverage of the basic theory, potential artefacts and hands-on experience of whole-cell patch-clamp, bio-imaging and sharp electrode methodology. Participants also receive training in data handling and presentation. The workshop is specifically aimed at a basic level for scientists who use, plan to use or simply need to know about the methodology, but do not require a comprehensive theoretical knowledge. It will help you to avoid basic mistakes and artefacts, present your data with confidence and spot mistakes in the work of others. No previous knowledge or experience of the techniques is required.

The Workshop lasts for 5 days and occurs within the normal working environment of the University’s Integrative Membrane Biology and Cardiovascular Centres, which have a long experience of electrophysiology and extensive facilities. More information and how to register can be found here.

1st April 2015

Study finds non-genetic cancer mechanism

Cancer can be caused solely by protein imbalances within cells, a study of ovarian cancer has found. The discovery is a major breakthrough because, until now, genetic aberrations have been seen as the main cause of almost all cancer.

Researchers at Leeds discovers a gene responsible for type-1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects around 20 million people worldwide. It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system destroys insulin producing cells of the pancreas, making the affected individuals, as young as 5 years old, dependent on life-long daily insulin injections. Currently, there is no proven medicine that can prevent the death of these cells and, therefore, the development of the disease. A team led by Asipu Sivaprasadarao at the University of Leeds have discovered that a protein, known as the TRPM2 channel, is responsible for the death of insulin producing pancreatic cells in type 1 diabetes. By depleting the gene responsible for the production of this protein in mice, they were able to prevent the death of the cells as well as the development of the disease. Read more.

25th February 2015

Gold nanotubes able to detect and destroy cancer cells

Scientists have shown that gold nanotubes have many applications in fighting cancer: internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging; drug delivery vehicles; and agents for destroying cancer cells. The study, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, details the first successful demonstration of the biomedical use of gold nanotubes in a mouse model of human cancer. Read more.

17th February 2015

Selective inhibitors of PPIs identified

Research at Leeds has demonstrated that a library of N-alkylated aromatic oligoamide helix mimetics can deliver potent helix mimetics which reproduce their biophysical binding selectivity in a cellular context and inhibit protein–protein interactions (PPIs) in a potent and selective manner.

Exploration of the HIF-1α/p300 interface

The HIF-1α/p300 protein-protein interaction plays a key role in tumour metabolism and thus represents a target for anticancer drug-development. A detailed biophysical analysis of the native interaction has been carried out at Leeds to identify novel binding motifs and inform future inhibitor design.

Leeds researchers find more evidence that ion channel modulators may have anti-viral activity

Research at Leeds has recently demonstrated the involvement of Cl- channels during the Hepatitis C virus lifecycle for the first time.

Hepatocytes express an array of plasma membrane and intracellular ion channels yet their role during the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) lifecycle remains largely undefined. Here, we show that HCV increases intracellular hepatic chloride (Cl-) influx that can be inhibited by selective Cl- channel blockers. Through pharmacological and siRNA mediated silencing we demonstrate that Cl- channel inhibition is detrimental to HCV replication. Read more.

28th January 2015

MRC 2015 Industrial CASE studentship scheme opens

The MRC Industrial CASE studentship scheme for 2015 has opened.

CASE studentships provide students with experience of collaborative research with a non‐academic partner and strengthen and develop collaboration and partnerships between research organisations and non‐academic partner organisations.

Deadline 8th July 2015.  Read more.

29th April 2015

Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst Engineering Focused Workshop

The KTN is holding a free consortium-building event to stimulate engineering lead projects for the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst (IB Catalyst) on Tuesday 9th June, 9.30 – 4pm, Manchester. It is designed to help business and researchers develop innovative engineering solutions for different industrial biotechnological applications.
 
The aim of this workshop is to:
Highlight the engineering opportunities within industrial biotechnology;
Identify new engineering technologies that could be applied to a range of biological processes: and
Learn about national investment in industrial biotechnology through IB Catalyst, BBSRC NIBBs and Supergen.
 
Representatives from Innovate UK, EPSRC, BBRSC and KTN will be present to address any queries related to the funding competition. Register for the event.

14th May 2015

Joint Research Council Antimicrobial Resistance scheme

Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development

The EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC and ESRC have launched a new funding scheme addressing antimicrobial resistance.  It is a broad theme encompassing the development, scale up and manufacture of new human and animal therapies and the diagnostics required to better target both new and existing therapies, and to monitor bacterial pathogen spread. Read more.

15th April 2015

Cancer Research UK multidisciplinary project award

The Multidisciplinary Project Award supports collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines. Applications should ideally include:

  • * At least one PI working in cancer research at any career stage
  • * At least one PI from an engineering/physical science discipline at any career stage

With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

  • * The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
  • * The development and translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer.

Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged. Read more.

6th January 2015

Leeds researcher takes top spot in national image competition

A University of Leeds researcher has been named the winner of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) image competition.

Fraser Macrae, from University’s School of Medicine, was announced as the judge’s winner in the Reflections of Research competition on Saturday (24 January).

The image, The Clot Thickens, is a detailed view of a blood clot – the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke. The thick grey mesh is the clot, capturing a mixture of different cells, which can be seen in different colours. Read more.

28th January 2015

Researchers discover viral “Enigma machine”

Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections by a major group of viruses including the common cold and polio. A PNAS Early Edition paper published by a group from the Universities of Leeds York unlocks its meaning and demonstrates that jamming the code can disrupt virus assembly.

£7.6M new MRI Leeds-York partnership

The MRC has led a £7.6M investment (including co-funding from British Heart Foundation and Arthritis Research UK) in teams from the University of Leeds and the University of York who are developing a new imaging method (SABRE) that has the potential to increase the signal in an MRI image by up to 100,000 times. The method will magnetically ‘label’ specific molecules so that they can be visualised as they pass through the body without changing their role. With this technique it is possible to label both drugs and substances that occur naturally in the body, making the method widely applicable.

Ultimately the method is expected to work with any hospital MRI scanner. The technique could be applied to patients with heart disease, cancer and joint disease within five years and will help speed up the development of new drugs. Read more.

22nd January 2015

GSK Discovery Fast Track challenge launches

The Discovery Fast Track Challenge is your opportunity to win a partnership with GSK—helping to develop new medicines from your innovative ideas. This is an ongoing program designed to encourage partnership between academia and GSK. You supply the concept. We supply the drug discovery expertise and access to our vast scientific resources.

The challenge is open to principal investigators affiliated with an institute, college or university located in a specified region. You tell us about your concept and our expert panel of judges evaluates each submission. If your proposal is chosen, a team of GSK scientists will collaborate with you to explore your concept, the same way as we do for internal projects. In short, you and your idea will be on an accelerated drug discovery path to success. Read more.

25th March 2015

Yorkshire Cancer 2015 funding round – focusing on cancer in Yorkshire

Over the next five years Yorkshire Cancer will invest in projects that have the potential to reduce the incidence of cancer, improve the early detection rate and accelerate research-led innovations for the benefit of people in Yorkshire and beyond.
 
RESEARCH AIMS
* Raising awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in the local community, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations;
* Promoting screening programmes and funding research that can improve diagnostic techniques to detect cancer at the earliest opportunity, allowing more effective treatment;
* Investing in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient’s journey from initial diagnosis to treatment to end-of-life care.

Applications are invited between £5k and £1.5 million over 1-5 years in duration. The Charity encourages applications from a wide range of disciplines. Preference will be given to applications that address unmet needs, ‘at risk’ groups and communities, and/or involve cancer patients in Yorkshire. Eligibility is open to all healthcare organisations and universities in the UK. Read more.

22nd January 2015

Biopharmaceutical Analytical Group Symposium in Leeds 4-5 March 2015

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) Pharmaceutical Analytical Group Symposium have announced a second symposium ‘Keeping Pace – Analytics for tomorrow’s biopharmaceuticals’ to be held in Leeds on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March 2015.

See here for the meeting agenda, and to register click here.

5th February 2015

Molecule fights cancer on two fronts

Researchers at the University of Leeds have made a new synthetic anti-cancer molecule that targets two key mechanisms in the spread of malignant tumours through the body.

Wellcome Trust updates funding schemes

The Wellcome Trust have updated their funding schemes, moving to ‘simple, flexible funding’ as described by the Trust’s director, Jeremy Farrar.  The most significant changes to the funding framework are:

* A new scheme for collaborative research, to support groups of researchers to pursue key questions. This scheme is to enable team projects, led by multiple researchers, which can only succeed through working together.

* A new scheme for seed funding to support original and innovative ideas, with a view to enabling researchers to move towards a larger research application.
 
* The New Investigator and Senior Investigator Award schemes are merging into a single Investigator Award scheme. All candidates will be considered according to their career stage and experience to date.

* Increased opportunities for research leaders of the future through our established schemes of Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships and Sir Henry Dale Fellowships.

* New schemes to encourage the development of portfolios of translational research projects and sustained excellence in public engagement.

Read more.

27th November 2014

A unified lead-oriented synthesis of over fifty molecular scaffolds

Controlling the properties of lead molecules is critical in drug discovery, but sourcing large numbers of lead-like compounds for screening collections is a major challenge.

A new publication from the School of Chemistry at Leeds University describes a unified synthetic approach that enabled the synthesis of 52 diverse lead-like molecular scaffolds from a minimal set of 13 precursors. The divergent approach exploited a suite of robust, functional group-tolerant transformations. Crucially, after derivatisation, these scaffolds would target significant lead-like chemical space, and complement commercially-available compounds. Read more.

19th November 2014

Merck “Grant for Oncology” Innovation funding

Investigators leading innovative research projects that have the potential to advance the implementation of personalised treatment for solid tumours Can apply to the Marck Grant for Oncology Innovation funding. Potential research topics which could be funded through the Grant for Oncology Innovation include: Research on molecular biomarkers or new targeted treatments, technology platforms for the routine analysis of molecular biomarkers, side effect management and platforms or tools which allow patients to access individualised treatment.

A total grant of up to € 1,000,000 will be awarded to one or more selected projects.

Closing date for applications is 30th January 2015.  For more information and to apply click here.

13th November 2014

‘Endless possibilities’ for bio-nanotechnology

Scientists from the University of Leeds have taken a crucial step forward in bio-nanotechnology, a field that uses biology to develop new tools for science, technology and medicine. The new study demonstrates how stable ‘lipid membranes’ – the thin ‘skin’ that surrounds all biological cells – can be applied to synthetic surfaces.

Process development strategies for the manufacture of challenging proteins: 27th Jan 2015

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), in partnership with GE Healthcare and GSK, announce a one-day meeting looking at ‘Process development strategies for the manufacture of challenging proteins’. This event will look at the process development challenges of producing proteins where a standard platform approach does not work. The day will feature upstream and downstream presentations on the challenges, the solutions and how the future may look.

Event is on 27th January 2015. Read more.

13th November 2014

Yorkshire Cancer 2015 funding round – focusing on cancer in Yorkshire

Over the next five years Yorkshire Cancer will invest in projects that have the potential to reduce the incidence of cancer, improve the early detection rate and accelerate research-led innovations for the benefit of people in Yorkshire and beyond.
 
RESEARCH AIMS
* Raising awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in the local community, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations;
* Promoting screening programmes and funding research that can improve diagnostic techniques to detect cancer at the earliest opportunity, allowing more effective treatment;
* Investing in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient’s journey from initial diagnosis to treatment to end-of-life care.

Applications are invited between £5k and £1.5 million over 1-5 years in duration. The Charity encourages applications from a wide range of disciplines. Preference will be given to applications that address unmet needs, ‘at risk’ groups and communities, and/or involve cancer patients in Yorkshire. Eligibility is open to all healthcare organisations and universities in the UK. Read more.

22nd January 2015

£7.6M new MRI Leeds-York partnership

The MRC has led a £7.6M investment (including co-funding from British Heart Foundation and Arthritis Research UK) in teams from the University of Leeds and the University of York who are developing a new imaging method (SABRE) that has the potential to increase the signal in an MRI image by up to 100,000 times. The method will magnetically ‘label’ specific molecules so that they can be visualised as they pass through the body without changing their role. With this technique it is possible to label both drugs and substances that occur naturally in the body, making the method widely applicable.

Ultimately the method is expected to work with any hospital MRI scanner. The technique could be applied to patients with heart disease, cancer and joint disease within five years and will help speed up the development of new drugs. Read more.

22nd January 2015

Technology inspired innovation – November 2014 – Biosciences

Innovate UK is to invest up to £2m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four enabling technology including biosciences.  They are seeking proposals that will kick-start the delivery of genuinely new products and services, with substantial and scalable commercial potential.  

The scope of the call includes: characterisation and discovery tools; production and processing; Bioinformatics.

Award: Up to £2m; Opens: 10 Nov 2014; Registration closes: 14 Jan 2015; Closes: 21 Jan 2015. Read more.

3rd December 2014.

Yorkshire Cancer Research announces £5M new funding

Yorkshire Cancer Research is investing £5 million in research that will have a direct impact on cancer patients in Yorkshire, it has been announced today.
 
The investment, which coincides with the charity’s 90th anniversary, will be used to develop understanding of the root causes behind Yorkshire’s cancer problems and develop strategies and initiatives that could reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates in the region.

The charity is inviting researchers to apply for funding in five strategic impact areas, which include understanding the Yorkshire cancer landscape and health inequalities, improving education, awareness and prevention of cancer, and enhancing screening and early diagnosis methods. The charity is also seeking opportunities to increase the number of clinical trials involving novel cancer treatments, and learn more about the quality of life experienced by cancer patients in the region. Read more.

1st October 2014

KTN Biosensors for Bioprocesses event

An all-day event, on 16th December, organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), will bring together members of diverse established communities to learn more about emerging biosensing technologies and how they might be applied to established industrial processes in commercial environments.

In addition to keynote presentations from industry leaders, delegates have the opportunity to pitch their technology solutions or commercial requirements to make new connections to spark future collaborations. If you would like to make a 5-minute pitch, please complete the appropriate section of the registration form. Pitching slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is encouraged.

Event will be held at The Park Inn by Raddison, York, YO1 6JF. Read more.

7th November 2014.

New Horizons in Bioprocessing: Dec 11th Stockholm

This, free, international educational forum will have an emphasis on change, developments, improvements, new directions, management and business areas of bio-processing with focus on technical rather than commercial achievements. Areas will include analytical techniques, cell culture and upstream processing, downstream processing and single-use systems.

Stockholm, Waterfront Congress Center December 11, 2014, 9am-4pm. Read more.

19th November 2014

On Your Marks lecture: ‘From Leeds to Limassol: Innovations in international business models’

The next On Your Marks lecture, ‘From Leeds to Limassol: Innovations in international business models’ will be held on Friday 12th December, 12-2pm in the Clothworkers Centenary Hall at the University of Leeds.

You will hear from keynote speaker Gobind Bansal from M&S about their global retailing strategy and the challenges of building a global retail brand – from growing key markets to creating flagship stores, online evolution to driving franchise business with key partners. See more details.

3rd December 2014

BBSRC media training

Presenting your research through the media is an effective and efficient way to communicate with large audiences. A tailor-made course for scientists working on BBSRC science is available and follows a bespoke programme created by our media office.

The course provides an ideal introduction to the media and how to use it to promote your science. It is aimed at scientists with limited, or no experience of working with the media, although it can be valuable practice for researchers who have already dealt extensively with the media.

The course is delivered by practising print and radio journalists and has a strong practical flavour. The course provides the opportunity to practise managing the thrills and challenges of a live radio interview without worrying about it being broadcast and will also develop your skill at writing for a general audience. If you are interested in the course, please email your details to press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk.

Next dates:

6 August 2014 – Central London
2 September 2014 – Central London
9 December 2014 – Central London

9th July 2014

EPSRC: Bridging the gaps between the engineering and physical sciences and antimicrobial resistance

This call aims to engage engineering and physical science researchers with the AMR challenge and to develop networks within their institutions focused on the four multidisciplinary themes in the cross-council AMR initiative. These networks will support people to build capacity and understanding which could lead to future research proposals. Read more.

Open date: 26 September 2014
Closing date: 2 December 2014

15th October 2014

Cancer Research UK drug development project award

Cancer Research UK have announced a new scheme to fund the development of potential new cancer treatments:

* Preclinical safety toxicology – drug manufacture – clinical formulation – assays – biomarkers
* First in class – first in man – Phase I clinical trials– combinations of unregistered & registered agents – early Phase II proof of principle – non critical path trials with agents in active commercial development
* Trial focus on: safety data – pharmacokinetics – biological endpoints – modulation of target biomarkers

Deadline for application is 24th November 2014.  Read more.

8th October 2014

Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst – early-stage & feasibility studies

The BBSRC, TSB and EPSRC funded Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst programme will accelerate commercialisation by supporting the development of new industrial biotechnology products and processes, and enabling their potential scale-up. It will support R&D for the processing and production of materials, chemicals and bioenergy through the sustainable exploitation of biological resources. We are particularly encouraging a collaborative approach.

The competition opens on 15 May 2014. The deadline for registration is noon on 3 December 2014 and the competition close date is noon on 10 December 2014. The award is up to £45M. Read more.

8th October 2014

CRACT IT 2014 Challenges now open

‘CRACK IT Challenges’ is a challenge-led competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific ‘Challenges’ which if solved will deliver 3Rs and commercial benefits, either by improving business processes or developing a commercialisable product.  Read more.

17th September 2014.

Tickling your ear could be good for your heart

Stimulating nerves in your ear could improve the health of your heart, researchers have discovered.

A team at the University of Leeds used a standard TENS machine like those designed to relieve labour pains to apply electrical pulses to the tragus, the small raised flap at the front of the ear immediately in front of the ear canal.

The stimulation changed the influence of the nervous system on the heart by reducing the nervous signals that can drive failing hearts too hard.

Professor Jim Deuchars, Professor of Systems Neuroscience in the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences, said: “You feel a bit of a tickling sensation in your ear when the TENS machine is on, but it is painless. It is early days—so far we have been testing this on healthy subjects—but we think it does have potential to improve the health of the heart and might even become part of the treatment for heart failure.” Read more.

27th August 2014

CRUK multidisciplinary scheme for physical sciences and engineers

The aim of these awards is to generate creative research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research. These awards are awarded jointly between Principal Investigators (PI) from engineering/physical science disciplines, and PIs who are working in cancer research.

With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

* The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
* The development and translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged.

The awards are for up to £500k and for four years.  The submission deadlines is 17th November 2014. Read more.

27th August 2014

Improving the diversity of drugs by mimicking natural evolution

A revolutionary new scientific method developed at the University of Leeds will improve the diversity of ‘biologically active molecules’, such as antibiotics and anti-cancer agents.

Prostate Cancer UK announce translational research grants

Prostate Cancer UKs ‘Movember Translational Research Grants’ are available to researchers in the UK in a recognised academic or clinical institution to fund research that results in a significant step along the translational pathway. Read more.

This call will close on 27 October 2014.

15th October 2014

BioInfect 2014 conference 4th November

BioInfect 2014 is a major 1-day conference looking at the critical issues relating to the development of new anti-infectives and the endemic problem of resistance.

Following on from the success of the conference in 2013, the programme will focus upon the areas of:

* National and International aspects of progress
* The related issues in animal health
* Technology showcase – innovative solutions under developments by SMEs
* New commercial models
* Incentives via supportive Regulation

The meeting is on 4th November 2014 at Location: Alderley Park Conference Centre, Alderley Park, Cheshire. Read more.

17th September 2014.

Antimicrobial funding calls

Two new funding calls for antimicrobial research have been launched.

1. EPSRC bridging the gaps between the engineering and physical sciences and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

As part of the cross-council initiative in AMR the call aims to engage engineering and physical sciences researchers with the AMR challenge and to develop networks within their institutions focussed on the four multidisciplinary themes in the cross-council AMR initiative:

a: Understanding resistant bacteria in context of the host
b: Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development
c: Understanding the real world interactions
d: Behaviour within and beyond the health care setting

Call opens 16 September 2014; Closing date:11 November 2014. Read more.

2. The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy projects & research grants

PROJECT GRANTS

Maximum value of £15,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. Project grants may be used for the following purposes:

Pump priming projects; Supporting the completion of an existing project; Introducing a novel technique for existing work; Funding for trainees for projects/training (maximum value £5,000); Candidates are expected to provide full justification of project grant funds.

The number awarded each year will depend on the overall level of funding available for the year in which the grant is applied for.

RESEARCH GRANTS

Maximum value of £50,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. The Society supports research grants in the following areas:

Mechanisms of antibacterial action; Mechanisms of antibacterial resistance; Antiviral resistance; Antiviral; Antifungals; Antibiotic methods; Antibiotic prescribing; Antibiotic therapy; Antiparasitics; Evidence based medicine / systematic reviews.

Deadline 1st November 2014. Read more.

15th July 2014

Leeds researchers lead fight against cardiovascular diseases

Researchers from the University of Leeds are leading the fight against heart diseases thanks to more than £20 million of funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

MRC partnership with seven pharma companies will offer up compounds to UK researchers

UK researchers will be granted access to a ‘virtual library’ of deprioritised pharmaceutical compounds through a new partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and seven global drug companies, announced today by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Research & Development LLC*, Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB will each offer up a number of their deprioritised molecules for use in new studies to improve our understanding of a range of diseases, with a view to developing more effective treatments.

The compounds have undergone some degree of industry development, but have all stalled at some point in early testing – often because they are not sufficiently effective against the disease in question. However, they may still be useful against other diseases with shared biological pathways.

A full list of available compounds will be published later this year, when UK scientists will be able to apply for MRC funding to use them in academic research projects. There is no fixed budget for the programme, which will make the compounds available on a continuous basis via the MRC’s normal response-mode funding mechanism. Read more.

22nd July 2014

*A Johnson & Johnson company in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation

BBSRC media training

Presenting your research through the media is an effective and efficient way to communicate with large audiences. A tailor-made course for scientists working on BBSRC science is available and follows a bespoke programme created by our media office.

The course provides an ideal introduction to the media and how to use it to promote your science. It is aimed at scientists with limited, or no experience of working with the media, although it can be valuable practice for researchers who have already dealt extensively with the media.

The course is delivered by practising print and radio journalists and has a strong practical flavour. The course provides the opportunity to practise managing the thrills and challenges of a live radio interview without worrying about it being broadcast and will also develop your skill at writing for a general audience. If you are interested in the course, please email your details to press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk.

Next dates:

6 August 2014 – Central London
2 September 2014 – Central London
9 December 2014 – Central London

9th July 2014

BBSRC Industry Fellowship and FLIP Schemes

The BBSRC has two industry-linked schemes that have just opened.

Industry Fellowship scheme aims to:

** Enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia
** Provide opportunities for an academic scientist to work on a collaborative project with industry
** Provide opportunities for someone employed in industry to work on a collaborative project with a university department or a not-for-profit research organisation

Application deadline 30th September 2014. Read more.

The FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/ technology/ skills, developing bioscience research/ researchers and addressing our strategic priorities.

FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals (“the interchangers”) moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent).

Application deadline 15 October 2014. Read more.

6th August 2014

BBSRC funded Crossing Biological Membranes Network PoC funding

The BBSRC-funded Crossing Biological Membranes Network (CBMNet) has launched and has Proof-of-Concept funding (up to £50,000) and Business Interaction Vouchers (£5,000) which are available for academics from any university and industry to apply for.

To apply for the funding you must join the network.

15th July 2014

Bursary competition opens for 11th Annual bioProcessUK conference

The Annual bioProcessUK Conference (25th – 26th Nov, Liverpool) runs a popular Bursary Poster Competition where approximately 30 high calibre postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers have an opportunity to display a poster showcasing their research in biological medicines and bioprocessing.The competition also provides students with a chance to build their network by engaging with industry professionals. Displaying a poster is beneficial to career and professional development of young researchers. 

The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday 12 September 2014. Read more.

9th July 2014

Drug Discovery 2014 conference

The European Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (ELRIG) 8th annual Drug Discovery conference will be at Manchester Central on 2nd & 3rd September 2014.

The ELRIG Drug Discovery 2014 programme will contain presentations from leading scientists across Europe and beyond, covering exciting advances in basic and translational aspects of drug discovery.

The scientific sessions will be :

– Innovations in Screening & Assay Development
– Phenotypic Discovery & Cellular Imaging *NEW*
– Oncology Drug Discovery
– Target Validation Approaches in Drug Discovery
– Chemical Innovation in Lead Discovery *NEW*
– Engineered Proteins for Therapy
– Neuroscience Drug Targets *NEW*

The hub Director, Prof Adam Nelson, is co-chair of the chemical innocation theme.

Read more.

18th June 2014

Leeds Reseach Develops Small-Molecule Proteomimetic Inhibitors

Professor Andrew Wilson in Chemistry has given an interview to ChemBioChem to discuss an article recently published by the journal.

The article describes the synthesis of small molecule proteomimetic inhibitors of the interaction between HIF-1a and p300.  HIF-1a plays a central role in the hypoxic response and so represents an emerging target for potential anticancer drug development.  The proteomimetic inhibitors were developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca and are part of a wider project within the Wilson group to establish a rule-based approach (or approaches) that can be used to develop inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs).

Read the interview.

Follow the Wilson group on twitter: @AJWilsonGroup

7th May 2014

Cholera vs Cholera

Research from Dr Bruce Turnbull’s group has appeared on the cover of Angewandte Chemie and has been flagged as a “Very Important Paper”, placing it in the top 5% of papers in this prestigious journal.

7th August 2014

A ‘funny’ cyclic dinucleotide receptor

Dr Katie Simmons and Profs Colin Fishwick and Peter Johnson have had their recent work describing an inhibitor of the cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel HCN4 published in this month’s edition of Nature Chemical Biology.

Chemical ‘Big Data’ and Medicine

A paper just published in PLoS Computational Biology describes how information available in the NMR spectrum of blood samples can used be used to monitor the progress of patients post-kidney transplant.

Add your views to EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Grand Challenges

EPSRC’s Healthcare Technologies Theme has launched a number of community web surveys inviting the UK’s research and user communities to help them develop a number of Grand Challenges. These Grand Challenges will be used to inform the future strategy and direction of the Theme.

They are interested to hear the views of researchers from all disciplines and career stages, as well as clinicians, industry and other relevant stakeholder groups.

Please use the surveys to give feedback on our initial list of ten Grand Challenges. You are welcome to complete as many of the ten surveys as you wish. The deadline for completion of the surveys is 09 June 2014. Read more about the challenges and complete the surveys here.

4th June 2014

Translational research conference for the life science industry and academia

ON Helix is a one day event aimed at informing delegates of how to turn early stage inventions and ideas into innovative health treatments (new medicines, novel biomarkers, useful medical devices or improved medical practices).

It will present the UK landscape of the business environment, funding, scientific and clinical research excellence and will be a unique knowledge-sharing environment between academia and business.

The conference is on 2 July 2014 Churchill College, Cambridge.  Read more.

7th May 2014

Register for the Leeds Microbubble Symposium

Registration for the Leeds Microbubble Symposium “Fabrication, Characterisation and Translational Applications” is now open.

Topics covered:

  • Microbubble fabrication and Characterisation
  • Development of Ultrasound Technology
  • Pre-clinical Applications and Evaluation of Microbubbles

 

14th and 15th July 2014, Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Leeds

Register for the meeting.  Follow the microbubbles group @Microbubble_LU.

14th May 2014

Targeted Skin Therapeutics – A Way Forward: workshop report

Hosted jointly by University of Bradford Centre for Skin Sciences and University of Leeds Pharma Hub, this exciting event brought together a cross disciplinary mix of skin biologists, chemists, clinical and formulation scientists to share information and ideas with the aim of bridging the gap between potential new therapeutic approaches to skin disorders and the clinical need for safe effective novel topical solutions for such skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and inflammatory skin disease. We would like to thank all the very many participants and presenters for making this a very enjoyable and rewarding event.

A report from the event can be found here and we would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in our follow up event on June 4th.  Please respond to the short survey to receive updates on this event, even if you did not attend the first workshop.

**Please note the June 4th event has had to be postponed.  We will post details of the rescheduled date as soon as it is confirmed.  Please do contact us if you would like to attend the follow up meeting**

28th April 2014

TSB call: Technology-inspired innovation – Biosciences

The TSB has launched a Technology-Inspired Innovation call which includes Biosciences. The call is for proposals that are biologically inspired, and where the resulting technologies will enable multiple applications or the development of a variety of products. Proposals should be focused on one or more of the specific elements below:
 
Characterisation and discovery tools
* commercial application of sequencing technologies focusing on genomics
* integration and exploitation of phenotyping technologies
* integration of ‘omics technologies, such as integrating metabolomic, * proteomic, genomic and phenomic data collection and interpretation capabilities
* biological imaging systems, biosensors, probes/ markers, diagnostic platforms.
 
Production and processing
* metabolic engineering
* novel manufacturing processes for biological products and novel biological production systems
* formulation and delivery approaches for biological products, including biopharmaceuticals and functional foods.
 
Bioinformatics
* approaches to organising, filtering and interpreting biological data, including biological system modelling, data visualisation and user-centred design.

Competition opens: 6 May 2014; Briefing event: 12 May 2014; Registration deadline: 18 June 2014, noon; Deadline for receipt of applications: 25 June 2014, noon. Read more.

24th April 2014

PhD training programme “Platform Technologies for Therapeutics Discovery” available at Leeds

A PhD training programme in Platform Technologies for Therapeutics Discovery has been launched at Leeds.  It brings together internationally-leading researchers at the University and industrial and clinical partners.

The programme trains high calibre science and engineering graduates in platform technologies that may facilitate future therapeutics discovery.

This centre offers fully-funded PhD studentships to enable the development of scientific platforms to help address key challenges in drug discovery. To ensure industrial relevance, the programme has been developed and is delivered in collaboration with our industrial and clinical partners. Read more.

16th April 2014

The Development of Small-Molecule Proteomimetic Inhibitors

Professor Andrew Wilson (Chemistry) speaks to ChemBioChem about a recently published article which describes the synthesis of small molecule proteomimetic inhibitors of the interaction between HIF-1a and p300; an emerging target for anticancer drug development.

Enterprise Fellowships support BBSRC researchers in commercialising a technological idea

Funded by BBSRC and delivered by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Enterprise Fellowships are designed to encourage the development of a new business, building on previously funded BBSRC research, around a technological idea developed by the Fellow (either individually or with others) and within which the Fellow would be expected to play a leading role.

This award is of particular relevance to individuals and ideas who previously received BBSRC Follow-on Funding. They provide:

* A year’s salary to provide time to develop a full business plan and seek investment
* Access to mentors, business experts and professional advisors
* Business training to help develop the required skills

Read more.

9th April 2014

Centre for Defence Enterprise “Innate response targets for therapy” funding

MOD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) seeks to identify host-pathogen interactions which can be manipulated in order to devise novel and generic therapies to meet the UK’s current and future defence and security needs. Such therapies should have broad activity against diverse microbial (bacterial and viral) challenges.

The purpose of this CDE themed competition for proof-of-concept research proposals is to reach out to all sectors for highly innovative techniques, tools and approaches to facilitate the identification of therapies or the early stages of therapeutic development. Competition closes 5th June 2014. Read more.

9th April 2014.

MRC technology are visiting Leeds

MRC Technology are visiting Leeds on 23rd May to discuss funding opportunities and have 1:1 meetings to explore specific projects in more detail. Read more about the visit, or contact the Pharma Hub (k.p.langton@leeds.ac.uk).

Researchers solve paradox of virus construction

A new study has solved a long-standing puzzle of how common viruses reproduce themselves during an infection, opening up new possibilities for treating a range of diseases from HIV to the common cold.

“Levinthal’s Paradox” has perplexed scientists since the late 1960s and is founded on the enormous number of pathways virus particles could theoretically use to assemble themselves into their protective shells. If they used a simple trial and error strategy, it would take many days to form a virus, but all the evidence suggests that they assemble within seconds or minutes.
An experimental team at the University of Leeds and mathematicians at the University of York have developed  a mathematical model to explain how RNA viruses solve this enormously complicated “Rubik’s cube” in microseconds or milliseconds.

The mathematical model could open up new opportunities for anti-viral therapies targeting a fundamental process in the formation of a wide range of viruses and could be a significant step in the fight against diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B and C,  the winter vomiting bug Norovirus and the common cold. Read more.

2nd April 2014

Leeds Microbubble Symposium registration is now open

Registration for the Leeds Microbubble Symposium “Fabrication, Characterisation and Translational Applications” is now open.

14th and 15th July 2014, Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Leeds

Confirmed Speakers:

Abraham Lee – UC Irvine, USA
Jose Manuel Gordillo – Sevilla University, Spain
Valeria Garbin – Imperial College London, UK
Neil Thomson – University of Leeds, UK
Juergen Karl Willmann – Stanford University, USA
Michiel Postema – University of Bergen, Norway
T.G.Leighton – University of Southampton, UK
Alexander Klibanov – University of Virginia, USA
Ian Miller – Royal College of Surgeons, UK
Tim Devlin – iThera Medical, UK

Register for the meeting.

2nd April 2014

EPSRC funding for novel analytical methods for biological molecules feasibility studies

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies is offering funding to academics outside the Centre for research feasibility studies related to the development of novel analytical methods for biological molecules, particularly proteins. Protein analysis is often required in highly complex samples, e.g. cells and cell media, chemical formulations, solid dose forms and blood plasma.

This call is open to any scientific discipline that can innovate in biological analytics. This may include (but is not limited to) biophysics, electronics, physical sciences, computational science, mathematics, chemistry, materials science, nanotechnology and molecular/synthetic biology.

Deadline is 7th April 2014.  Read more.

12th March 2014

BioProNET support for industrial biotechnology project development workshops

The BioProNET (Bioprocessing Network) is one of the Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBBs) jointly supported by EPSRC and BBSRC.

In order to aid members of BioProNET in the development of project teams for making bids to the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst (or other competitive network funding streams), BioProNET has made available resources to support workshops to consolidate project discussions. This is an open competition, however anyone who applies will be required to register as members of the network and expected to engage fully with other network events. All applications will be evaluated by a panel.

Deadline 21st March 2014.  Read more.

12th March 2014

Brian Mercer Award for Innovation opens

This scheme is for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation.  It is designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment

The scheme covers natural sciences, excluding medical devices, and provides an award of up to £250,000 (including VAT where applicable). Awards are not expected to exceed 24 months in duration.  The deadline for applications is 23rd April 2014.  Read more.

Linked to this scheme is the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award, which is now open to biomedical research.  The scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research. Read more about the scheme.

5th March 2014

Leeds compound screening technology launched on CrackIt

A high-throughput biomembrane screen has been lauched in the NC3R’s Crack It solutions competition.  The proposed technology can screen compounds, polymers and nanoparticles in a high throughput configuration to identify chemicals and drugs with potential biomembrane permeability and toxicity.

Read more about the technology.

12th February 2014.

New research opens door to Alzheimer’s test

Scientists at the University of Leeds have developed a new technology that could form the basis of a simple blood test for Alzheimer’s disease.

The new biosensor measures harmful clusters of the protein amyloid-beta, an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. The study is published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal. Read more.

12th February 2014.

RSC emerging technologies competition

The RSC have launched the 2014 emerging technologies competition for novel technologies in chemical, life or material sciences.

Supported by industry (Procter & Gamble, Croda, GlaxoSmithKline and Catalent Drug Delivery Institute), the competition is a chance to win up to £10,000 cash prize and business support from these renowned multinational companies. The support may include prototyping, customer evaluation, access to laboratory space, equipment and more, all tailored to your technology needs. Finalists can also access FREE one-to-one advice from business and finance specialists worth £500.

RSC define a techology as ‘the scientific method or material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective’.  Read more.

12th February 2014

TSB scheme launched to advance the development of non-animal technologies

TSB, NC3Rs, BBSRC, EPSRC and DSTL are to invest up to £4m in feasibility studies into how non-animal technologies can be further developed and applied to improve product development across a range of industries. 
 
These technologies could revolutionise the way in which new drugs and chemicals are assured for effectiveness and safety. The funding will allow companies to collaborate with each other and researchers to explore better ways of predicting the effects of new drugs and chemicals on humans, animals and the environment. A key aim of this competition is to harness recent advances in non-animal technologies to generate new technologies with improved predictive capacity, or to extend existing technologies to new application areas.

Projects can last from 12 – 18 months, and to range in size up to £250k. The deadline for applications is at noon on 26 March 2014. Read more.

4th February 2014

Leeds Microbubble group Soft Matter front cover: self assembly of actin scaffolds on bubbles

The Leeds Microbubbles group, part of the Pharma Hub Targeted Molecular Delivery theme have a front cover in Soft Matter for their work on self assembly of actin scaffolds.

The paper reports the development of novel microbubble architectures that in addition to the usual lipid shell has an actin cytoskeletal cortex assembled on their exterior. It is shown, using atomic force microscopy that this biomimetic coating creates a thin mesh that allows tuning of the mechanical properties of microbubbles and that the nature of actin assembly is determined by the fluidity of the lipid layer. Further, it is shown that it is possible to attach payloads and targeting-ligands to the actin scaffold. Read more.

22nd January 2014

BBSRC funds Bioprocessing Network: BioProNET

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has funded 13 unique collaborative Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB) to boost interaction between the academic research base and industry, promoting the translation of research into benefits for the UK. BioProNET will focus on bioprocessing.

The networks pool skills from academia and business to develop research projects with the potential to overcome major challenges in the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy arena. They also allow new members to come on board with skills that can benefit the group. Read more.

19th December 2013

£5M EPSRC funding for tools to diagnose and measure dementia disease progression

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is contributing to the global drive for a greater understanding of dementia, by announcing £5 million of funding available for research to improve our ability to diagnose and measure disease progression.

A total of 44 million people are already living with the condition around the world and that figure is predicted to soar to 76 million by 2030. Dementia is inherently difficult to diagnose and significant delays from symptom-onset to diagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons. Typically diagnosis occurs quite late at a time when patients’ cognitive impairment, disability and behavioural symptoms may be quite marked. A more timely diagnosis would provide patients with more time to make decisions and plan for when their condition becomes more advanced, thus maximising their quality of life. Read more.

11th December 2013

Brian Mercer Feasibility Award now also funds biomedical sciences

The Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Award is now open to biomedical research.  The scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.

It provides provides initial support of up to £30,000 to test the feasibility of a project, enabling applicants to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their scientific research, possibly in conjunction with a third party. Read more about the scheme.

9th Janaury 2014

Targeted Skin Therapeutics – a way forward? Workshop

Clinician? Basic Scientist? Join us for the first Yorkshire workshop on the future of targeted skin therapeutics,

Hosted by Leeds Pharma Hub and Bradford Centre for Skin Sciences on Wednesday 5th February 2014 09:30 -16.00; re:centre, University of Bradford City Campus

  • The day will include
  • The Skin Organ/Skin Barrier [Prof Des Tobin]
  • Cells in inflammatory skin diseases (Eczema, Psoriasis, Lupus) [Dr Miriam Wittmann]
  • Overview biologics, nucleic acid molecules and small molecule inhibitors [Prof Nicola Stonehouse]

 

Flash presentations on recent developments in: Delivery; Novel imaging; Biologics, SMI; New chemistry; In vitro testing / skin equivalents; Formulation.

To register interest contact the pharma hub: pharmahub@leeds.ac.uk.

22nd January 2014

Innovative Medicines Initiative launches 11th call

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI; Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients) has launched it’s 11th call.  It includes topics on osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, zoonoses, tools for drug discovery, antimicrobial resistance, & environmental impacts of medicines.  Read more.

9th January 2014

Leeds awarded BBSRC equipment funding for new crystallisation facility

A bid led by Professor Adrian Goldman was awarded over £400,000  as part of the BBSRC equipment funding call for a “High-throughput low-volume crystallisation facility”.

The 20 grants from the BBSRC Advanced Life Sciences Research Technology initiative (ALERT13) represent the first major equipment purchasing grant scheme from BBSRC since 2007. Read more.

19th December 2013.

Leeds Chemistry PhD student wins prize for antibacterial research

Sarah Narramore, who works in the Fishwick lab, won first prize for her poster at the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) antimicrobial resistance mechanisms workshop for researchers held last week.

The poster entitled “In silico design of bacterial type II topoisomerase inhibitors: new “dual-target” antibiotics” presented an overview of the work Sarah carried out in the first year of her PhD.  Read more.

11th December 2013

Medical charities urged to back proof-of-concept research

Medical charities must do more to back proof-of-concept research, as a lack of such studies is currently holding back the development innovative therapeutics, a meeting of the Association of Medical Research Charities has heard.

“We start companies too soon and spend too little time de-risking ideas before trying to pass them on to big pharma companies or commercialising them,” said John Bell, professor of medicine at the University of Oxford and chairman of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research, the UK government’s central coordinating body for health research.

Support is needed from the government or charities, or even pharmaceutical companies, he said, pointing out that a few universities in the United States have begun to fund work to develop drugs further before they are spun-out and to provide guidance to academics to do that work. “If you can do unconstrained proof-of-concept work, it’s an excellent opportunity for involving clinicians in studies that will tell you if something works,” said Bell.

Bell added that the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK have begun to provide useful funding in this area, and that the UK’s Biomedical Catalyst Fund was another good source of funding. Read more.

29th November 2013

Study pinpoints superbug resistance protein

Researchers have identified a resistance protein that allows bacteria to survive chlorhexidine, a disinfectant commonly used in wipes, cleansers and mouthwashes in hospitals.

A study led jointly by the University of Leeds and Macquarie University in Australia  showed how the superbug Acinetobacter baumannii—prevalent among soldiers treated in medical facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan—can pump the disinfectant out of its system. The findings are critical for the design of new chemicals to combat the germ. Read more.

29th November 2013

£3.8M for new tools and services to support businesses in synthetic biology

Businesses are being invited to develop standard tools and services that will help grow the emerging industry of synthetic biology.

Up to £3.8M is being made available by BBSRC, the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Welsh Government.

Synthetic biology applies engineering tools and approaches to biological cells, biochemical pathways and whole organisms. Potential applications include new ways of making high-value materials such as: fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals; renewable energy sources; processes for detecting and addressing environmental contamination; and increased agricultural productivity.

For example, a project between the BBSRC strategically funded John Innes Centre and antibiotic discovery firm Demuris is using synthetic biology to enhance the effectiveness of a novel antibiotic to combat hospital-acquired infections. Read more.

27th November 2013

NC3R’s pilot & proof of concept study grants

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research are inviting grant applications from UK establishments for pilot or proof of concept studies, to provide preliminary data for a subsequent, more substantive application that will support the development and application of the 3Rs.

Outlines must be submitted to the NC3Rs office by 4 p.m. on 11 December; deadline for full applications is 4p.m. on 6 February 2014.

Read more details here.

20th November 2013

Leeds Chemistry PhD student wins early career scientist award

Shahrzad (Shezi) Mohamadi has recently been presented with an ‘Early Career Scientist’ award following her presentation at the In Vitro Toxicology Society meeting. The award was presented by Karl Herbert (IVTS committee member) and Penny Jones (Unilever and IVTS committee member).

Shezi described her work on an electronic device for screening biomembrane activity towards specific pharmaceuticals. This is yet another success for Shezi who is in the final year of her PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Nelson; more information is available on his web page.

20th November 2013

AstraZeneca and Roche have both agreed collaborations which see them return to the development of antibiotics.

Roche has agreed a $560 million development deal, partnering up with a Phase II program underway at Polyphor, which has been advancing a new group of treatments using macrocycle technology. Read more.

AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with two units under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) to develop new drugs to treat Gram-negative bacterial infections, which are believed to cause two thirds of all hospital acquired infection deaths. Read more.

7th November 2013

£10M investment fund for synthetic biology translation

Entrepreneurial scientists in the synthetic biology space can benefit from a new £10M investment fund that opens for business today. The new fund will help companies in the early stages of their journey towards sustainability, through investment, strategic support and leveraging private capital.

The synthetic biology fund will be managed by private investment specialists Midven through its association with the long-established Rainbow Seed Fund, which provides kick-starting finance to technology start-up companies that evolve (or ‘spin-out’) from publicly-funded research.

The investment has been allocated to the fund by the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) in response to the 2012 Synthetic Biology Roadmap, which sets out plans to harness opportunities in this area.

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC’s Executive Director, Innovation & Skills, said: “For synthetic biology to deliver benefits to society we need to translate basic research into useful products, tools and services. It is notoriously hard for early stage companies to do this because of difficulties moving from an establishment phase towards sustainability. The first round of finance is always the hardest to find and this new fund provides a solution.”

Read more.

7th November 2013

Entrepreneurs and Education Programme deliver their Challenge Workshops Monday 18th November

The Entrepreneurs and Education Programme will be at the University of Leeds on Monday 18th November to deliver their Challenge Workshops.
The Challenge Workshops are aimed at: Managers & Leaders; Researchers; Lecturers; Students

The 2 hour sessions (at 10am and one at 1pm) will cover:
• Why entrepreneurship matters
• Spinning out: starting a business or getting a job
• Licensing University Intellectual Property
• Engaging with businesses
• Securing research and income
To register for either of the events please visit School for Startups.

These events are funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

8th October 2013

TSB call: Tools and services for synthetic biology

The Technology Strategy Board, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are investing up to £3.5m in business-led projects to develop innovative tools and services for the UK synthetic biology industry.
 
This competition will help to establish a portfolio of tools and services which will improve competitiveness and profitability within the UK synthetic biology industry, while also opening up new market opportunities for the providers of those tools and services.
 
The competition opens on 18 November 2013. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 26 November 2013. See the full competition brief.

2nd October 2013

Restricting antibiotics could be key to fighting “superbug”

New ways are needed to fight the infection Clostridium difficile and better use of antibiotics could be key, according to the authors of ground-breaking research.

In a unique United Kingdom study, the team from the University of Leeds, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford University, mapped all cases of Clostridium difficile (C.diff) in Oxfordshire over a three-year period (2008 to 2011). C. diff causes severe diarrhoea, cramps and sometimes life-threatening complications, and has traditionally been thought to be transmitted within hospitals from other sick C.diff patients.

The research found that less than one in five cases of the so called “hospital superbug” were likely to have been caught from other hospital cases of C.diff, where the focus of infection control measures has been.
Researchers also found the total number of cases of C.diff, whether acquired from other sick patients in hospitals or acquired from elsewhere, fell over the three-year period. As a result, the research suggested stringent infection control measures in hospitals were not the most significant factor in curbing the infection. Read more.

2nd October 2013

BSAC responds to Governments 5-year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy today welcomed publication of the Government’s five year antimicrobial resistance strategy that seeks to address the issues currently facing doctors treating bacterial infections, particularly those caused by Gram-negative bacteria.

Read the strategy, and the BSAC response.

11th September 2013

BBSRC FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) call

BBSRC’s FLexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge/technology/skills, developing bioscience research/researchers and addressing our strategic priorities.

FLIP awards provide flexible opportunities for individuals (“the interchangers”) moving between different organisations, disciplines and sectors at all stages in their career beyond the PhD (or equivalent).

Awards will typically last up to 24 months and cost up to £150k (80% fEC) and can be be undertaken on a full-time, part-time or intermittent basis.

The deadline for applications is 31st October 2013. To apply go to BBSRC website.

11th September 2013

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy funding calls

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy exists to facilitate the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy.  It has a funding call for project and research grants.

PROJECT GRANTS
Maximum value of £15,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. Project grants may be used for the following purposes:
• Pump priming projects; Supporting the completion of an existing project; Introducing a novel technique for existing work; Funding for trainees for projects/training (maximum value £5,000)

RESEARCH GRANTS
Maximum value of £50,000 for projects of up to one-year duration. The Society supports research grants in the following areas:

• Mechanisms of antibacterial action; Mechanisms of antibacterial resistance; Antiviral resistance; Antiviral; Antifungals; Antibiotic methods; Antibiotic prescribing; Antibiotic therapy; Antiparisitics; Evidence based medicine / systematic reviews

For more information see the BSAC website.

3rd September 2013

Research from the University has found the most effective way yet to test for the deadly bug C-diff

In the largest study of its kind, carried out by experts at the University of Leeds, the most effective test for the diagnosis of Clostridium difficile (C-Diff) has been identified.  C-Diff is a bacterial infection which causes 3,000 deaths a year in Britain, and is most common in hospital patients treated with antibiotics for other infections.

The multi-centre study, carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds, in partnership with colleagues from the University of Oxford, University College London and St George’s, University of London, tested more than 12,000 faecal samples from hospital patients to establish the best method for diagnosing C-Diff. 

Read more.

4th September 2013

September is Alzheimer’s month

September 2013 will marked the second global World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma.
The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2013 is Dementia: a journey of caring. To download the official World Alzheimer’s Month poster click the image on the right.

This year, Alzheimer associations across the world will focus their activities on the care required by people with dementia throughout the course of the condition. Visit Alzheimer’s Disease International ‘Find an event’ page to see the range of activities taking place during World Alzheimer’s Month 2013.

3rd September 2013.

RCUK Industry Fellowship Scheme launched

The biannual joint research council scheme was launched today with a deadline of October 4th.

The scheme aims to:

**Enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia

**Provide opportunities for an academic scientist to work on a collaborative project with industry

**Provide opportunities for someone employed in industry to work on a collaborative project with a university department or a not-for-profit research organisation

It is anticipated that fellows will establish personal and corporate links between the 2 sectors in the UK as a foundation for their long-term future development.  Fellowships can run for 2 years full time, or up to 4 years part-time, where fellows maintain a working relationship with their home institution throughout.

More information is available from the Royal Society website.

28th August 2013.

TSB call:Technology-inspired innovation

The Technology Strategy Board is launching a new competition ‘Technology-inspired innovation’.  Included in the scope is:

Production and processing:

  • Metabolic engineering
  • Novel manufacturing processes for producing biological products and novel biological production systems
  • Formulation and delivery approaches for biological products including biopharmaceuticals and functional foods.

 

For more information see the website or join the briefing event on 22nd August.

£93 million package of support announced for UK’s health industries

Innovative business and academic projects from across the UK’s health sector will benefit from a new £93.2 million package of support announced today.  The investment includes £25.9 million from Round 3 of the Biomedical Catalyst – a programme of public funding jointly managed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Technology Strategy Boar and a further £29.3 million of investment in healthcare innovation has been announced through three Technology Strategy Board-led funding competitions. These will support businesses in areas such as stratified medicine and regenerative medicine – good news for the Leeds hubs.

Read more.

31st July 2013

Leeds protein crystallography highlighted on ‘Bragg on the Braggs’

Leeds x-ray crystallography capabilities are featured in a programme about the Braggs.

Melvyn Bragg looks back at the extraordinary achievements of two other famous Braggs, the father and son scientists William and Lawrence. In 1913 the Braggs discovered a method of investigating the structure of crystals using X-ray radiation. They soon proved the significance of this breakthrough by determining the internal structure of diamond. Two years later they shared a Nobel Prize for their work, which founded the discipline of X-ray crystallography.

Listen to the programme.

14th August 2013.

University of Leeds and Epigem unveil first Microbubble instrument – The HORIZON

The University of Leeds and Epigem today unveiled the first commercial chip-based microfluidic microbubble generating machine in the world.

The instrument generates microbubbles in two regimes, monodisperse bubbles with controlled size between 2 and 8 microns in diameter and a spray regime which produces large numbers of bubbles with a mean diameter less than 2 microns.

The microbubbles can be filled with a wide range of gases, but are typically fluorocarbons, and their surfaces comprise of a range of surfactant lipids which can also be modified with targeting agents or payloads for diagnostic or therapeutic delivery.

Whilst the Leeds group is primarily focussed on applications in detecting and treating colorectal cancers and liver metastases, the technology has wide spread potential for preclinical and clinical applications across a range of diseases including heart disease and diabetes to arthritis and oncology.  Read more.

The pharma hub supports a project to deliver therapeutics using microbubbles through the Targeted Molecular Delivery theme; hub proof-of-concept funds have been used to develop a prototype instrument for microbubble generation.

The Leeds Annual Microbubbles Symposium will take place on Weds 17th & Thurs 18th July 2013, Weetwood Hall, Leeds. For more information on the symposium programme see here.

17th July 2013

Leeds Ion Channels Workshop 2013: Sunday 1st – Friday 6th September 2013

The 14th Leeds Ion Channels Workshop will be held Sunday 1st – Friday 6th September.

The workshop will provide you with an excellent and accessible chance to learn the basics about methods – especially electrophysiology – for the study of ion channels in the pharmaceutical industry and within an academic research environment. Our university is amongst the largest teaching and research institutions in the UK. Its Biological Sciences was ranked 4th (out of 52) in the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise 2008.  Find out more about the workshop via our LinkedIn group, or download the leaflet.

To book a place on the workshop visit the online store or email ionchannel@leeds.ac.uk to pay by invoice.

3rd July 2013

Leeds Chemistry researchers discuss the complex life of sugars at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

esearchers from the School took part in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition last week in London.

Dr Bruce Turnbull and his PhD students Tom Branson and Kristian Hollingsworth joined scientists from the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Imperial College and the John Innes Centre to present an exhibit called the Complex Life of Sugars. The team spent the week telling the public about the importance of carbohydrates in all aspects of our lives from the initial interactions between a sperm and an egg, to materials and energy production. Read more.

17th July 2013

Plaque marks birthplace of X-ray crystallography

A plaque celebrating Nobel Prize-winning research at the University of Leeds that revealed the structure of crystals and revolutionised science has been unveiled at the house where it all began.

The development of X-ray crystallography by William Henry Bragg, Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Leeds (1908-1915), and his son William Lawrence Bragg, then a research scientist at Cambridge, paved the way for ground-breaking discoveries in the physical sciences, biology, engineering and medicine, including Watson and Crick’s work on the structure of DNA.

Read more.

17th July 2013.

University of Leeds Thrombosis group get paper in ‘Blood’ journal

The group demonstrated that glycation of plasminogen due to increased blood sugar levels, interferes with activation of plasminogen and leads to generation of less plasmin that is less effective in breaking down clots. This is a novel mechanism for inhibition of clot lysis in diabetes that we also reported as reversible by improving glucose control.

Read the paper at: Ajjan RA et al. Blood. 2013 May 22.

19th June 2013

Researchers develop new weapon in fight against cervical cancer

Scientists at the University of Leeds have found a way to target and destroy a key protein associated with the development of cervical and other cancers.

The E7 protein is produced early in the lifecycle of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and blocks the body’s natural defences against the uncontrolled division of cells that can lead to cancer.

Researchers at the University of Leeds’ School of Molecular and Cellular Biology have synthesised a molecule, called an RNA aptamer, that latches onto the carcinogenic protein and targets it for destruction, significantly reducing its presence in cells in the laboratory derived from cervical cancers.  Read more.

19th June 2013

EPSRC to hold Chemical Biology theme day

EPSRC will be holding a Theme Day for the Chemical Biology and Biological Chemistry research area on 3 December 2013.

The aim of the Theme Day is to review and evaluate the portfolio of chemical biology and biological chemistry research grants funded by EPSRC so they have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the area, from a physical sciences perspective.

During the Theme Day, a representative sample of academics will present posters of funded work which will be reviewed by an expert panel. Through discussions with presenters, the panel will provide EPSRC with an overall assessment of the portfolio. Facilitated sessions will also be held on the day to try and determine the challenges facing chemical biology research and future opportunities in the area.

If you carry out research in this area and believe that you could contribute to the process by taking part more information is available on the EPSRC website.

19th June 2013

Leeds EPSRC CDT proposal “New Physical Sciences for Therapeutics Discovery” invited to submit full proposal

EPSRC has invited Leeds to submit a full proposal for the CDT programme “New Physical Sciences for Therapeutics Discovery”.  EPSRC invited 49% of the 356 Expressions for Interest to submit a full proposal.  The full list of proposal invited to the next stage can be seen here.

29th May 2013.

Professor Mark Kearney’s research into type-2 diabetes featured on the BHF website

British Heart Foundation Professor Mark Kearney has been highlighted as a ‘BHF Top Researcher’, in an article published about the ground-breaking work he and his team are undertaking which could lead to new treatments for people with type 2 diabetes.  He also features in the new BHF adverts.

1st May 2013

Study identifies “chink in the armour” of Schmallenberg virus

A key building block in the Schmallenberg virus could be targeted by anti-viral drugs, according to a new study led from the University of Leeds.

The disease, which causes birth defects and stillbirths in sheep, goats and cattle, was first discovered in Germany in late 2011 and has already spread to more than 5,000 farms across Europe, and 1,500 farms in the UK alone.

There is currently no way of treating infected animals, but a study published in Nucleic Acids Research reports that the Schmallenberg virus nucleocapsid protein, which protects its genetic material, could be its Achilles’ heel. Read more.

1st May 2013

Leeds awarded a 3 year grant from The Leverhulme Trust to develop semi-synthetic protein like objects

The project, which will develop semi-synthetic protein like objects derived from alpha-helix mimetics, explores a new direction that stems from work on developing helix mimetics as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.

It will explore to what extent it is possible to reproduce the structural and functional complexity of folded proteins using non-natural building blocks comprised of aromatic oligoamides. More background on the project can be found here: http://www.chem.leeds.ac.uk/andrew-wilson/research.html

Read more on the pharma hub protein-protein interactions theme.

Archived 19th June 2013

BBSRC launches Excellent with Impact competition: Leeds to take part

The BBSRC’s Excellence with Impact competition was launched on 20th March 2013 at the BBSRC Fostering Innovation awards in London.

The competition is designed to promote innovation and delivery in translating world-leading bioscience research into benefits for people economically and socially, by working in partnership with research organisations to maximise impact.  The award acknowledges research organisations and BBSRC strategically-funded institutes for actively embedding a culture that recognises the importance of economic and social impact, alongside excellent research.

Thirty-one of the UK’s leading research organisations, including Leeds, have entered the competition which will run until 2016.

Read more about the competition.

Archived 19th June 2013

Leeds joins partners in £170m European drug development project

Chemists at Leeds will join a £170 million pan-European project, bringing together university researchers and pharmaceutical companies to develop the next generation of drugs. 

The European Lead Factory, a novel platform for innovative drug discovery, will bring together an international consortium of 30 partners. This is the first partnership of its kind, supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the world’s largest public-private partnership in health. 

The team at Leeds is led by Professor Nelson, Professor Steve Marsden and Dr Richard Foster.  Read more.

Archived 19th June 2013.

DNA-nanoparticle drug delivery featured on Wiley journal cover

The BBSRC’s Excellence with Impact competition was launched on 20th March 2013 at the BBSRC Fostering Innovation awards in London.

The competition is designed to promote innovation and delivery in translating world-leading bioscience research into benefits for people economically and socially, by working in partnership with research organisations to maximise impact.  The award acknowledges research organisations and BBSRC strategically-funded institutes for actively embedding a culture that recognises the importance of economic and social impact, alongside excellent research.

Thirty-one of the UK’s leading research organisations, including Leeds, have entered the competition which will run until 2016.

Read more about the competition.

 

Archived 29th May 2013

Antibiotic resistance threat: Chief Medical Officer comments

The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics should be ranked along with terrorism on a list of threats to the nation, the government’s chief medical officer for England has said.

Professor Dame Sally Davies described it as a “ticking time bomb”.  Read more.

The RSC believes that an international research and development effort is required now to combat the dangers presented by antibiotic resistance and that the UK chemistry community is well-placed to take a leading role, if properly supported by funding. Read more.

Leeds join Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC)

Leeds University has joined the Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC), a partnership between BBSRC, EPSRC and a consortium of leading companies – including major biopharmaceutical companies and CROs – to support innovative bioprocess-related research, including that needed for the manufacture of complex biopharmaceuticals.

Leeds has been awarded a BRIC studentship in collaboration with a BRIC member as part of the second round of phase 2 funding from the programme.  Read more.